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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 15, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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he said i don't want to teach you how to do that. in the process is telling me he didn't want to teach me how to be angry, he got very angry. [laughter] on purpose and i thought wow, that's quite amazing to see someone who so in control of their own facilities and police. pt,ñlñ to see or eclipse. first it was world war ii book called in harms way about the sinking of the uss indianapolis towards the end of that war. i was so moved by my experience
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working with those veterans who when i called up on the phone were often home and it wasn't easy for them to talk about this trying time. if you remember in the movie jaws, captain quinn was the fictional survivor of the indianapolis and decreasing the movie when a section about delivering parts of the atomic on country bomb. when my editor at generals magazine says he should go to minneapolis to meet these folks, i thought he was kidding. i thought they were made up in the movie. that's out of touch it was and how out of touch america willing was with this book end of world war ii which ends the war essentially because they deliver the atomic components which are later dropped in japan and they have pearl harbor to be the front. i should say this really exist. as you know, delving into this world of a guest would be our grandfathers generation or great
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uncle, going to reach kitchen table around the country and going to the interviews and then tell me what happened then, it's really a story about men. and later on their wives facing the supreme at the essential moment to in figuring out who they are and how they're going to survive. and that sets the course really for the rest of their lives. some of these guys were 16 years old. sunk in the middle of the pacific, left for five days without any rescue by the navy, a series of flukes. finally picked up after 900 men are out of 1200 are essentially killed by the torpedoing or eaten by sharks or their grievances. take that the captain is short punch or court-martialed. the first time it's happened under the circumstances. he commit suicide in 1968. so in the kitchen tables, always the wise were standing at the sink to in the ditches dishes it
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turned out. this must be something you do when you get older and do the dishes. but the reality was they were actually hearing the story for the first time two. and so, they would say i think i got out of the navy and then removed and then alex okay, no holland, that's completely wrong. that didn't happen, beget the same time that they tell me how i what happened when the ship sunk. it's not like getting money out of the atm. and the room would go quiet and the story would begin to emerge adjust to these men were as human beings, as american citizens, as our fathers and grandfathers really touched me and i try to tell it from their point of view. so that when i came to 2001, i think the challenge is that for myself as can you do that with
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the modern soldiers as well? what i didn't understand and you may have found some of the same challenges that when you interview people who are of the generation, they're typically retired when i were to interview with them that was to the out to dinner and paid for it at the red lobster and they were my grandparent. calling a man in his early middle-age who is part of his special forces group out of fort hamilton kentucky as part of the u.s. military that really almost never cooperated with any writer in any kind of way that i wanted to do, would likely have done with with the world war ii officers, which was i don't care what kind of batteries you use. i mean, the caliber of the most interesting, but i want to know what did you do before you deployed, that day october 19, 2001. and so they were taken aback that is because he was a question about their humanity
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and how this had changed them as fathers and sons and citizens. because to me that the central thing we need to maybe digest and ponder as we are our own citizens and taxpayers. or who are we sending overseas to fight these wars that i think we sometimes don't fully understand how complex and really what the issues are. we see them from our point of view, the u.s. centric point of view, but what's happening on the other end of the world, what are the afghans, what do the pakistanis think. so that in a big nutshell explains how i kind of moved for a ready magazine pieces to world war ii into the modern soldier. to tell a story that you're hearing it on the kitchen table and it was athletic and yet their instrument and personal about a subject that you
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probably wouldn't even pick up a magazine to maybe read about, the special forces group united states, spec warfare. i mean the mind reels at the acronyms in the impersonality of all this. so i wanted to strip all that away and send this story, you know, some are called to the hearts and minds of us because i think after 9/11 -- i mean, i know why wise. i mean you probably do too, getting coffee, getting on my track and stopped. and i thought well how do i tell this to my children? "horse soldiers" is my way to articulate a language to understand violence in the 21st century. why was it created? how is this not quite what do you do to neutralize it? these permissions i had as a writer that you may not even
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kind of glanced when you're reading the book. >> you do that very well. let talk about some of these guys that you got to know. and as he said, you remember where you were on 9/11. i do. afghanistan when the invasion wasn't in the 100,000 or the thousands. it was in the hundreds and the dozens. and their lives were about to change. where were they on september 10th or 11th and what was going on in their lives and what were those first days after 9/11 before they deployed? >> sure, it's a great question because that's really what we're reading about now and where our tax dollars are going. so we maybe need to understand who these folks are. when we say things like unconventional war or unconventional troops, we're really setting up a dichotomy
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with the conventional army which would think of the 101st airborne, the 82nd deployment large masses, armor, moving forward in a symmetrical line and fighting an enemy. the special forces are really an untold part of our united states army. it really hearken back more to the oss in world war ii which is another reason the story attracted me instead of being dropped behind enemy lines to form among disparate groups of people who may not have similar aims, beget have a common enemy, as we did in world war ii, or what the, they were dropped behind -- into afghanistan and try to get these warring tribes to stop fighting each other what long enough to point at the television. in and their mission is very clear and kind of unprecedented for two reasons. special forces had never been deployed as a lead element in the united dates history ever.
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i mean, they always were an add-on for the thing that came in after where they operate in off to the margins out of the spotlight at the news. so everything you read in the book we didn't know was going on at the time. this means on september 11th, they are training on a river in kentucky, doing an infiltration whether shooting on a helicopter from the one 60th special operations aviation. the blackhawks are really the best in the world. and i was able to spend about a week with them that there had orders in fort campbell and their story was amazing. so they're doing this routine mission of dropping kodiak off the back of this a double bladed wing and then they're linking off with another team and going home. and we got calloused unfair, a
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guy now that he's deployed maybe a love than 12 times since 9/11. he's well over 40, he's a chief warrant officer, smart. they get caught in the fog in the river and almost get run over by a tugboat and have to anchor and they forgot to bring their winter clothing, so they're basically just kind of hanging on the raft trying to make it through the night and get home and get some coffee and cal wants to go home and have a martini and set on the couch and watch his favorite tv show. now, they think that they're headed for the philosophical united states army. there's really no place for them in the world of tanks and armor and a cold war kind of setting. they get back into on the radio and suddenly hear this thing happening and they know immediately do something now is going to happen to them, but they don't know what it is.
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if you remember back then, if you went to the pentagon and look to the a's on how to invade a country, there was no aid for afghanistan. the plan b. would have been to 60,000 troops in a neighboring country and deploy them in with supply lines, invasion of iraq. >> 1991. >> however, political pressure and the need to do something soon seemed to be america was behind this move. so we have to do something. so tony franks plan without the window into some engineering within the special forces community, these guys got the job. they were told by then colonel john mccullen and lieutenant general that their job was to go into afghanistan. their job was to kick the taliban out of the country and make it safe for the taliban, capture the city of marcia
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sharif. if they captured months are they could go to kabul and kandahar and the whole country would follow in this domino effect. i forgot to mention that he was talking to only 12 guys. [laughter] cal spencer, one of them who is six weeks earlier had been this routine training mission and was thinking i'm getting too old for this stuff and i've got to go. so in the end, the accomplished what planners might not take a year and a half and they did it in a little more than six weeks, involving about 300 personnel. it's not exactly accurate because the reality is thousands of conventional people followed on shortly thereafter it. but the reality is that it costs roughly 100 million bucks here at the beginning and they didn't push the taliban out of
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afghanistan. they did go after these training camps and they did it in a way that probably none of us in this room, could we don't fully know about what these guys do, can really describe her talk about, which is really the point of the book to make that real. >> let's talk about how they did it because they really were poor soldiers. in the technology of planes they were riding on horseback. it's interesting thing about america fighting in the world at least in the past century, large numbers of american forces fighting guerrillas that are. care of these reversed. >> we were the guerrillas. yeah, we've are the insurgents in afghanistan which is amusing for us because we don't think of ourselves that way. they link up with a very important people in the story, part of the cia current military
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teams who had gone in earlier and made things happen with these desperate warlocks because with lines of communication still open. without pointing these people in the right direction and getting these guys to stop fighting each other, you couldn't have fomented this resistance among the local grassroots level to go after a common enemy, the taliban. so it's true. the united states and the afghans were the underdog spirit didn't have have the armor, the air. we had air but it came in later. so how they did this is the story of the book. and they did it by, i mean, if we look at this room and we were coming here and say we're going to take control of this room. well, in a benign way. we would look around and say, you know, this gentleman over
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here, his issues are of this. he wants that, he's fighting with this person here. i would know what language you speak, what language you speak good i would know who your children were. anyway, i would know so much and that's the special forces are trained to do in the area assessment and language skills to just basically walk into the battle space can be hooked to understand for the centers of property are in the levelers. so really mean to you approach conflict and violence from the point of view of a diplomatic, anthropologists, sociologists. because you understand, as many ,ñpñlñgist
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change? that's the question you have to ask yourself. if your answer is yes, then you may want to take a look at some of the new thinking coming out of the military and the army and i have to say, andrei, it was interesting to talk to these guys and some of their thinking was so forward in so kind of leveraged in the anthropology and sociology and awareness seem to be missing in our american society. in other words, the people who wanted to say get out of afghanistan immediately and
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that's the debate nowadays. have they really stopped us. what would happen if they really do do do? was the person living at the other end of that idea and what do they want? what do women want in afghanistan? i mean, that's really a key question? with the women and children want? what is the unstick return to achieve here? >> i'm sure will have plenty of time to get to 2010. but anyway, let's talk about the book more itself. in terms of -- you talk about going to these people's homes, sitting down with them, but you had asked a variety of sources of information that nobody else had had before you came along. talk about the actual research project of peace and a book like this together at a time there were still a war in afghanistan. >> it was a challenge.
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the book took five years to write. again, i thought it would to be like going out to end interviewing at red lobster. i was naïve. there is no stupid question when your writer and a journalist. in fact, i don't think it's a stupid question in general because it was clear to the people that i was trying to interview that i was truly interested in the character, the humanity and the nature of their ideas and their mission, that it wasn't just a shoot them up book. it was aimed at many women in the united states would they rather would understand something i thought was very important after 9/11 in a way to neutralize the conflict. now, people in 2010 are still talking about afghanistan. another shining moment in history, it did work for certain reasons i thought that was an important story to tell. i mean, people in often look at
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the mechanics being a writer. i had a sub for which was successful and read widely. there was some nice reviews and i felt like the book had done something in the way up obviously my magazine pieces never would do. and it showed me that being a storyteller, you can actually move people in a way that i found important, you know, that it was a book about community ultimately. so i shipped back to the country in this we all stopped her for near fort campbell, kentucky and got on post. i called the press affairs officer at a special forces group and there wasn't one. i mean, this is how kind of unprepared they were to actually even be in the spotlight.
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and after a while, and made repeated trips on the post and after a while when you first show up, and everyone i have to say when your reporter and you're dealing with people like movie stars, you can never really figure out anything that's going to happen that they say. but dealing with the united state military they say they're going to be here contract there at noon to do the interview, they are there. it's very refreshing to do these interviews. and i just kept showing up and i saw that i wasn't crazy, i think, and pretty soon the headquarters which is just off the parking lot in the way church there. he said, just walk around. i mean, go in the team room. i said i'm looking for so-and-so. i have no idea. and to go in a team room and knock you know if they are and i am looking for so-and-so. i say he's not here, who argue? went back to the question i want
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to write this book for him. after about ten minutes he said well that's me. [laughter] doc found him. and he said okay. so it was a lot of shoe leather. and i asked questions that i think i remember asking now colonel mark mitchell and major mark mitchell. i said what did you do the afternoon before you got on the plane to fly away? and he said well, we went to burger king and then i came home and watched the disney channel with his daughters. and i thought, wow, i didn't read that in the paper. that to me is an interesting detail because that makes him real to me. it makes this whole global conflict, the bloody chaos real to me. and i want to know the character and nature of this man who is now tasked with this mission.
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he's part of a large mass of people who america answers to 9/11. and the preparation before he gets on the plane in kentucky to fly overseas, he goes to burger king and watches the disney channel with his daughters. back to him, if you can bring -- if you can touch on those details, it is something, mysteriously, it it shows our commonality, even something as innocuous as that. >> absolutely. i think it's shining the light on making these people real. and again, we look back over the past ten years and we've seen everything happened. per from the people when he was sitting at home watching the disney channel, he had no idea what was coming next. and this is september into october 2001. all this was just beginning. part of the book is special
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forces. the big part of the book also is the cia, which you mention briefly as well. i think of a lot of people when they hear cia they say analysts sitting at the high computer think james bond. that's not what the sky were. these people were in there literally days after 9/11. it talked about the cia side of the story. >> is very important because they have these language skills and these lines of communication with the peres, that respects, the tajiks who are operating in the north. and if you can't get everyone to get along, then you can't form your resistance and overthrow the bad guys, which in this case is that halibut. which by the way the afghans did not want to support you if they do not want the taliban and and even if the support may be 10%,
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maybe 25% in some of the more southern provinces. so they are they are in the head by days and weeks and his helicopters, people talked about mitchell. he comes in a little later. but they get in the helicopter in pakistan where they're based in colonel mulholland says good luck, i don't know if you're going to come back from this. some of the guys thought that he -- that kind of blew their back a little bit because they knew it was real. these guys are trained to actually maybe not be the strongest people in the room, although they often are. but what's so interesting about their training and i think this goes back to your question about the agency military teams that they're trying to recover more quickly than the other person from failure.
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it's such an interesting idea which is why i so thought the story was so interesting. if you keep putting a person in situations of failure over and over and over and you watch how they respond to that, do they just crumble and collapse or do they actually rise up and kind of prevail among the circumstances? that the person you want. and in some ways it felt like being a writer. [laughter] i mean, i remember driving from camp mccall after he took part in something called robbins staged, which goes back to your question about what is the business they do? and i robbins staged, afterwards almost all the special forces teams said they were perfectly prepared for what happened in afghanistan. so i started to study this. at the least a one-week, maybe a two-week, 24 hour live-action scenario of being in a foreign land called tideland where the
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politics and auxiliary operated outside the guerrilla camp. and you have the guerrilla chief who translates for afghan warlord and someone in bosnia. a professional belligerent or you have to get a with in order so when they don't kill you in so that social change can happen. so i'm thinking about this and i'm reading up on it and i hear that if the warlord, dg chief as they call him likes to be given to a spirit so i go to the store and buy a thermal brinkley and a lantern and i packed this because i'm going to live in this camp and observed his father join it and kind of watch and learn. -underscore into kind of absurd the central idea that kind of an emotional level. so these young captains are going to be dropped off a
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helicopter. they get out of the back of a pickup in the night and have to navigate their way to words over thousands of acres with the complicity of the locals who act as the underground, just like a real guerrilla war. so the farmer and his kids will drive-in on an atv and bring me from the outside world. and the sf team along with the local resistance will say what's going on? whets president so in so doing? what's happening in tideland? and so they'll repeat this scenario. and the medic who's never done this in the real world is doing fake dental work from the kids. he is looking in the mouth of the young child and the farmers son or daughter, you know, they've got doing this is going along with it even though they don't really understand. so tell me, so you've got a cavity here. well, i can take care of that.
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but listen, tell me, do you hear that so-and-so over in that part of the county, what does he want? so they're gathering intelligence as they're giving back to the community. now their names in the community names and ancillary names are all one so it's all moving in the right place and the right way. bcl that works? is different than walking in, kicking down the door, tell me what's going to happen. so the pilot team prepared military teams have the same report. report the report is the very big word in this world tiered welding report with the people around you so that you are on the same page. >> part of these people they were encountering and afghanistan of course is the television. one of the characters in the bug that many have here is the american taliban, john walker
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lit and and you really tell his story as well at the same time you're telling folks on our side. who was the? >> john walker lynn grows up in california and he decides -- it's interesting you ask that because dgc the news today about jihads gene following on the heels of g.i. jane and then again new jersey was really a somalian i think who went to the same town in yemen to study arabic as well. in fact told his american peers he needed to go to yemen to study real arabic and get it from the horses mouth, so to speak. so john walker lindh is far ahead of this curve here. and he ends up in the cross hairs of the afghan war. he is going to study arabic in
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yemen and beyond that because he doesn't -- he actually ends up in bin brigade and end up in this fortress in mazda sharif that forms one of the last part of horse shoulders, discovered in the bible the shocking world about how the young americans were in california and that the this fortress. and so, he's in there because he represented at the time i was 1txç x x x x x x
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but furans tragically, you know, one of the first people to be killed after 9/11 was an officer named mike spann and he comes face-to-face with lindh and that journey was one of the arcs of the book as well. >> are there any questions from the audience. i'll ask people to start lining up at the microphone here to my way. as they do, let me fast forward a bit. and you end the book with a quote from sergeant pat x. who says he won't be over open to say today or tomorrow if that was the right thing what they did in 2001. you're going to have to go back to afghanistan in ten or 15 years from now and say with this right? we are now in 2010.
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next year will be ten years from that initial invasion. talk about what's happened in the past ten years and when these guys look back on it, what are they saying thinking now about whether it was right? >> i think they would say yes. i think that some of the first people to talk to me about iraq and what was going runner and was also going right where the special forces soldiers. in other words, the very tuned and aware of the social nuances of a certain group of people on the globe who want to do you harm. i mean, if you want to boil it down, that's what this is about. so how do you deal with that lack i think that more people need to be leaning over these ideas that were going to solve them. i think that the people who want to work for peace need to study war as much as the people who study wore the tooth of the piece because it's like playing
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only the black or white keys on the piano. right? i mean, this is a problem to say you don't believe in war. this is not part of your question, but i was thinking about it the other day because i like to write an op-ed about it. i don't believe in fire, but thousands earning down. it doesn't mean i'm trans matter if you believe in war. we need to come to terms and grass and do things in our own small way to move the needle in one direction or the other. so what's fascinating and heartening about telling what this community is that these people have thought deeply about why people fight and i think that's one of the journeys of "horse soldiers" has been my own education and not. now today if the lake at december 1st, president obama speech and the announcement of 3000 more troops. general mcchrystal's request
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earlier in august for those troops in the insurgency program. you don't see a map program upfront and bold headline, much of this talk of an unconventional approach to this as a quote social problem. but i think those things or they are. i think karzai, president karzai going just last week to help me with tribal elders. you've got to remember, this would be -- i don't even know how to describe this. the fact that these people are fighting and fighting with the taliban is because they don't think karzai even knows they exist. and the folks he has in power there, they feel are so corrupt that any money they give never trickles down. for him to show up as a symbolic act to sit on the fourth 400 of these guys and they tell me what your problems are is an earthmoving kind of symbolic gesture. i think you're going to see more of this approach.
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we are hearing british foreign secretary miller brand so that we need to deal with the taliban and, the ones that work for the dollars opposed to the ideology. the $500 million package that was announced in london in january with the members of 70 different nations to kind of, you know, peace and reconciliation fund. there's another community defense initiative that's going on. all these things are kind of trickling. so when i'm saying to a start reading the news. you can heighten your radar little bit. what's the nugget of what's happening here? how is change being created and what do i need to know -- what do i need to read to address the situation? >> i know there's questions coming, but i want to pick on that point because it brings us back to when i introduced the
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pearl harbor scenario at the beginning of this program. because when i was writing the candy bombers and i was writing at the same time we're watching what was going on in afghanistan and iraq i got the sense that there is a difference between winning a war and winning a piece. and when we were able to do as a country in the berlin airlift was when a piece and to be able to basically win hearts and minds that it was really more complicated than that. it was really changing the psychology which is what you were talking about as well. history was one of the things we having have been able to do in afghanistan has been to change the psychology of the past ten years. do you think the reason we are still in the kind of situation we are now is because of a lack of work on the security side, that we pulled away troops into iraq or is it because we have not been able to change the conversation really in the minds
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of people in afghanistan? >> number one, when people say we been at war in afghanistan for ten years, the reality is that snatcher. we've been in there for handfuls of months with any concerted focus. even in june 2008 when the monthly death toll exceeded what was going on in iraq, no one seems to be complaining. and suddenly when the president asked for 3000 troops everyone wakes up and says it's been going on there for so long, why are we doing this now? when i was working on the book, often people as they were receiving in afghanistan? it's hard to think of now because it's dominating news. so the question is, what is the end state? what was interesting about the "horse soldiers" and this vessel services personnel in the conventional troops that were there as they never wanted to turn the place into minneapolis. the point is that it is
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afghanistan and these people do not want the taliban in power by and large. so if i want to pitch in our mind with going on, it is a country that you can go to school and, that girls can go to school in. greg mortensen has done some fascinating work in this area. he basically is a civilian social forces kind of person. in other words, he writes books and you observe them and you understand them. just install those. that is the nugget also of what some u.s. military are using to create change. so the idea is that instead of going from the top down and hitching your wagon to a corrupt government in kabul which can't reach into the hinterlands come, you go tribe by tribe, valley by valley, person by person. it's very old-fashioned. it's very -- you have to speak the language and knowing whole bunch of stuff were not training as a matter of course in the army. so we're catching up with that.
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but how long did it take for anyone to march to selma for civil rights? it took years and decades. so the question is, what is their timeline here and what are we willing to do as taxpayers and a fellow citizens to support it? i don't have an answer. it's a rhetorical question right now. that's why think people should look at it. it generational, social and it's not going to end up looking like minneapolis, the little girl standing on the side of the road was meant to shield eyes because somebody in a black toyota truck is going to drive by and throw acid in their faces as they are young girls going to school. you know, that's the kind of stuff that gets me excited. >> clearly, we've gone through the situation in a country where
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i think there's a lot of discussion right now about our role in afghanistan. and that wasn't even true a couple years ago. it seems to me there was a lot of division in iraq whether we should be there or not. but there is a fair amount of unanimity that afghanistan was the right war, that just work on the place where we should've been bipartisanship on that issue. and yet in the lead up to president obama's decision in december of last year and in the months since it seen as boylan today. what do you attribute the change to? >> a lack of understanding of what the real problem is. it is not wars and politics by other means. what americans have to come to grips that is that war equals also political change and there are certain parts of our society that use violence and chaos to
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create that change, but that's not what this problem is about. step back and say this is about a country that is strategically placed on the globe in which the whole globe as interest and is not devolving further into chaos and unrest. in our own self-interested people there would like it to be different as well. that's getting stuck in the mindset that when i hear some of the debate on both the left in the right we do need to into the stone age or just pull out next week. well, okay, fine. what about the little girl standing by the side of the road? what are you going to do about her? do we have a responsibility so she doesn't get blinded by cupful of acid? it's a question we really have to ask ourselves is what do women want in the country? in totality, they probably want the u.s. out and they want to jyoti south and they want karsay
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out. they want the misogynist out of their way to treat them as chattel and so on. >> and maybe a simple question, but who is -- who are the taliban? how do they get to be in control -- how are they different? are the indigenous to the afghanistan? and how is it that they're different and how did they give in to be such an oppositional thing to what you describe as the majority? >> well, the taliban and -- it's joining the club of fundamentalism that you believe the afghanistan should be governed by a certain set of laws. they're not only pashtuns and they're forgetting the tajiks and that respects in the other part of the country.
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you have to ignore borders for a moment and think about in the corner with the pakistan in the corner so they're being fed either from pakistan or growing within afghanistan. they are afghan citizens. by your question really is that they're not popular, how are they in control? they do it, these to send the vietnam war the adjust your preferences at night by coming in and slitting the throat of you or your family and terrorizing you so that if you read david rhodes pieces in "the new york times" after his release and a television had more pan era impulses and also that they were providing goods and services in the hinterlands that government could do.
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so if i want to come in and terrorize you and at the same time run up legal system in the banking system and give you a job and employ you, then i guess you're just want to kind of live with that. until something comes to neutralize the desk death grip you kind of out of my life. >> i'm not sure you can answer this. you probably have been an opinion. in view of the success of the cia and special forces troops just after 2001, why wasn't this strategy and tactics followed again when we went back to afghanistan, when the idea is to win the hearts and minds, especially through a reconciliation instead of sending and 30,000 troops? >> well, it wasn't employed before the plant for 35,000 more
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recently is because we've been talking about this and it continues to some fascinating to me, but it doesn't sound so fascinating to a lot of people within the u.s. military. what you're really saying is this kind of thinking is more decentralized. it is not about being conventional and your approach. so what i'm trying to tell you if it was a hard sell as a doctrinal kind of approach to ,ñpt6ñvñ,ñ to the question. you leave here today and go back and read the newspaper and just
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look for this stuff. people are saying this is a social problem, political problem. we want to work for the taliban, stop working with the taliban. another word for $10 a day folks and so on and so forth. it's going to take a long time and the question is, what their patients? and you're right, i don't have an answer. >> yes, sir. >> hi, i've been writing down and i could ask you about 16 questions, but i know i'm not allowed to. >> keep it at 15. [laughter] >> i will mention subjects quickly. the first one is about the language when the special forces first went there, how did they deal with the language problems. the second is about bora bora. we had a correspondent who was here was in the middle of the cattle and it was a few years ago and he gave a talk year on
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sixth avenue, a first-hand account of what happened there. third, charlie wilson on one degree of separation from him so i know someone who helped him. his bat. involved in afghanistan for long time ago before the 9/11 or anything else. the question i'm going to ask is about women. >> about what? >> about women. i feel very strongly for women's rights. another was in egypt in the 1920's or in the oil strikes. [inaudible] i was on my way to kuwait to visit and i was there for a week. on my way in, i found that i had met an american engineer from texas who from the time of saddam hussein and he was flying
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to iraq, but he couldn't. he had to fly from kuwait and their commute to iraq. and i met him on the way back. he was there to fix what had been damaged by the iranian. and he came back. he was sort of amazed on how liberated the iraqi women were. he had an iraqi woman engineer in blue jeans and t-shirt going in front of him up and down. so while we might have fixed some things, we have really [inaudible] other things. >> we have women, tora bora and the language. the language, to the good question because the reality is
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there weren't a lot of dari speakers. they speak russian, arabic, french. so these translators. they had to use work in a lot of drawing in the dirt to figure stuff out. and again the cia was very key in being that liaison and helping out in this way. let me just jump to the women thing. because it is -- it's half the population of the amnesty and so it's amazing why they're being treated this way. let me ask you, how do you stop this? this is -- the question is how do you create change so that women aren't treated as second-class citizens in that country and were not going to get to the bottom of this right now. but just so some of you know, in some part, were sri lanka is
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being enforced and paving your windows like the men walking outside can't see inside to see any women inside, it tedrow. it's turco in draconian, it's not even in the last five centuries. >> is a very complex question. the reason egypt went the way it did became more concerned. egypt when is a long wait of progress and noise. european and they're moving that way. and then instability happens with wars and once this happens, the army took over. and interrupted or distracted the progress of what's happening. and so i think stability is a very important thing.
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>> someone asked earlier about the taliban and, where they come from. and basically they arrived out of the cauldron of the hellacious solo war that riced the social fabric of the country after the u.s. and soviets pulled out in 89. so you're right. in the absence of stability, we tend ironclad rules for models, jakarta and measures are put in place to control people and to codify societal rules and so one of those worth. anyway, it's a good question. >> thank you. >> do we have one more question? there somebody else coming. all right. >> you are talking about what we can do to help out the division of women. my snotty answer is seven over one over there who believes in
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the sharia law a day cannot get yourself. not everybody there must be so intolerant. and i wonder if it's possible to draw something that someone here suggested about how to lessen the affluence of the really right wing radical thinking people is to draw the moderates of whatever group you are lucky not into some kind of project where you share values. and i wonder if that's possible there. i don't know. it must be kind of test and you're afraid someone's going to come in and slay her throat. in my original question was anything you were mentioned work and tried diatribe from the bottom up. is that still going on by anyone? denied well, it's going on more at the hyper level, yes, with forces in their working.
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but afghanistan is a country built on consensus. they loya jirgas and they sit in a circle and they'll figure out what it is they're going to do and then they tried to do it and often they change and people don't do it what they said they were going to do. it's a consensus making. afghanistan likes a winner too. to go back to the question about the taliban. typically a mass society the one with the winter. so what's going on right now at the counterinsurgency deploying et cetera is that karzai in the afghans have to seem like more of the winner than the taliban have been believe it or not and operating the government and not one of the things we asked about why the 30,000 troops? that's fine to create the top down in the police force and army which can provide security, but then from the grassroots of the bottom up, then you work at this person by person, tried diatribe. as a case in point, the shema we
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tried so that they were so disgusted with the taliban a couple weeks ago that they were going to fight them no matter what ended the u.s. wanted to help out, great. but they were sick of the guys coming into the village and extortion in terrorizing. it turns out just recently this last week the two subtypes are now fighting each other and they stopped fighting the taliban. so this is again a problem that they have to solve. so what we did in 01 and we've done throughout is that little note of discontent there would be ironed out by the special forces thinking. >> will take one final question. it will be speaking in half an hour about the berlin airlift and the candy bombers. >> i very much enjoy it, thank you. how much is the opium trade
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having an effect on the economy of afghanistan and how is that intertwined with our task of changing the psychology of people whose lives depend on it? >> that's an excellent question. i mean, recently there was $100 million aid package to bolster back pakistan. some people who were in the book have been communicating with me about and they think it's very important. here's why. like in marjah, everyone is using it as a cash crop. you go back to the social. if you can replace the poppies with something else in the government and this comes from the government, you legitimize the economy company therefore legitimize the government and the people either have to get
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with the program or not get with the program and that would mean that they would start to cleave away from the taliban and the opium and get a legitimate. so money while it's very expensive is cheaper than the alternative, which would be to hammer at this from the outside with bombs and bullets all the time. so it's a two-pronged approach. ..
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible c to our website to
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